The Los Angeles Dodgers arguably have their most important series of the season this weekend against the San Francisco Giants. Therefore, the team has Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw scheduled to pitch and in that order. Los Angeles is 51-26 when one of those three pitch and just 37-37 when someone else takes the mound.
Via Mark Saxon of ESPN LA, A.J. Ellis discussed the importance of the top three starters taking the mound:
I think it’s going to be a benefit for us going forward and I’m glad those three guys are lined up the way they are.”
The season hasn’t been all smooth sailing for the trio as each of the pitchers dealt with an injury this season. Kershaw missed over a month with a strained upper back muscle, Greinke suffered from elbow soreness in August, and Ryu has twice been on the disabled list due to injuries to his shoulder and gluteus muscle.
Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt talked about the significance of keeping the three pitchers healthy:
It’s a long season and it’s definitely a grind, but the focus is their health and keeping them as strong as possible,” Honeycutt said. “Each one had a little something going on, so it just made sense to give them as much space as possible when it’s allowed.”
The Dodgers have had a lot of trouble at the backend of their rotation this season. With a season-ending injury to Josh Beckett and Dan Haren’s roller coaster of a season on the mound, the Dodgers hope to go into the playoffs with the big three starters healthy and pitching well.
Los Angeles enters this weekend’s three-game set against San Francisco with a two-game lead in the National League West Division standings. The Dodgers will face the Giants for six of their final 16 remaining regular season games.
Ryu, Greinke and Kershaw are also scheduled to start the in the three-game series between the rivals at Chavez Ravine, which begins Sept. 22.
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